In this undated file photo, Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher (left) and US Representative (and ex-Marine) Duncan Hunter (right) pay a visit to the black site headquarters of the mysterious Colonel Kurtz to seek counsel regarding both the treatment of enemy combatants and the proper method of dealing with fallout resulting from same. Center is an unnamed civilian photographer, apparently serving as an advisor on dealing with leaks to the press. Notes taken from the seized phone of Rep. Hunter indicate that the photographer said, “He can be terrible, and he can be mean, and he can be right. He’s fighting the war. He’s a great man. You don’t judge him like an ordinary man.” It was not immediately clear whether he was referring to Kurtz or Gallagher.
In a surprising development, military judge Captain Aaron Rugh today dismissed all charges against Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher related to his alleged murder of an injured Islamic State prisoner under his care and the shooting of two Iraqi civilians in 2017. Gallagher has also been accused of posing in photos with the dead bodies of his enemies. In his comments on the dismissal, Rugh cited the defense offered by Representative Duncan Hunter, who recently stated, “I was an artillery officer, and we fired hundreds of rounds into Fallujah, killed probably hundreds of civilians. Probably killed women and children if there were any left in the city when we invaded. So, do I get judged too?” As for the Islamic State soldier whom Gallagher allegedly executed with a knife, Hunter said, ““I frankly don’t care if he was killed. I just don’t care.”
“Representative Hunter is a former Marine, and he clearly knows whereof he speaks,” said Captain Rugh. “His words reminded me of another soldier who knew what it takes to win a war, the famous Colonel Walter Kurtz of US Army Special Forces. ‘I’ve seen horrors,’ said Kurtz shortly before his death. ‘Horrors that you’ve seen. But you have not right to call me a murderer. You have a right to kill me. You have a right to do that. But you have no right to judge me. It’s impossible for words to describe what is necessary to those who do not know what horror means. Horror has a face. And you must make a friend of horror. Horror and moral terror are your friends. If they are not, then they are enemies to be feared.’ Amen.”